Sexting: the common practice among young people that carries serious risks

Juan Pablo Perret

June 23, 2022

A study conducted by the International University of Catalonia, published in the international journal Environmental Research and Public Health, stated that the practice of sexting increased during the pandemic by 2% among girls and 10% among boys.

What is sexting? According to the authors of the same study, it is the “act of sending, receiving or forwarding audiovisual content of a sexual nature through electronic devices or social networks.” It is not a security problem; the danger lies in how this content is used.

The increase in this practice is mainly due to using technological devices from a young age. The new generations spend a significant percentage of their day using these platforms; therefore, they develop their lives behind these devices and feel safe.

However, the reality is that this practice entails severe risks if the content is diversified or misused. Disseminating photos or videos means loss of privacy, damaging the image of the person involved, and generating consequences such as lack of confidence or psychological problems.

In addition, the same fact can generate cyberbullying by the harassment that can be developed around the affected person, extortion if the content reaches the wrong person and seeks to profit from this, grooming or physical risk, endangering the physical integrity of those involved.

How does the law punish the perpetrators?

It depends on the legal framework that manages each country, but the dissemination of sexual content without the consent of the victim can mean:

  • Exhibitionism and sexual provocation of minors.
  • Generation, dissemination, or possession of child pornography.
  • Damage to intimacy and honor

Role of responsible adults

Today we are all exposed; thus, parents or those responsible for minors must be concerned about educating about these issues, no matter how uncomfortable they may be in some cases. Knowing what the child is doing on the Internet, raising awareness, and using tools such as parental control can help prevent the issue of sexting.

In closing, it is worth mentioning that adolescence is a process of discovery, and eliminating these practices is not feasible, especially considering technology’s priority in people’s lives. Still, it is essential to have a bond of trust with the person to whom the content is sent. In addition, social networks are exposed to hacking or similar situations, as our phones are at risk of being stolen, or lost, which must be considered.

Related Posts